See a statement from James Balda, Argentum president & CEO, on the coronavirus. Read more.

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James Balda
Argentum President & CEO

Updated: May 22

Statement in response to the announcement of a $4.9 billion distribution by HHS to nursing facilities impacted by COVID-19

“While Argentum appreciates that the Administration is supporting nursing homes, we remain disappointed that it continues to overlook the senior living industry, which is caring for the same vulnerable population and has equally urgent needs. Senior living communities – assisted living, independent living, memory care, and continuing care – critically need financial relief, as they have rising financial pressures due to added staffing and expanded operations, as well as the costs associated with purchasing PPE and test kits.

“All in all, expenses for senior living communities are projected to be in the tens of billions over the next year. This could cause extreme financial strain on this industry, which currently serves as a safe haven to residents and a backstop to the larger healthcare system. These communities also desperately need priority access to COVID-19 testing and PPE, but the government has prioritized nursing homes for these critical resources, as well.

“We will continue to ask the Administration and Congress not to neglect the urgent needs of the 2 million seniors and 1 million employees who live and work in senior living communities. Lives and livelihoods are at risk, and we are asking our elected officials to stand up for our seniors and those who care for them.”

—James Balda, President & CEO, Argentum

See Argentum letters sent to Congress and the Administration regarding COVID-19

“One of the most overlooked players in the pandemic…”

On May 16, Argentum president & CEO James Balda appeared on Fox News to discuss the critical needs of the senior living industry, including priority PPE, expanded testing, and essential access to federal funding to help tackle COVID-19. Watch video.

Updated: May 1

On April 30, James Balda was among a small group of long-term care executives invited to the White House for President Trump’s remarks on protecting America’s seniors.

“We are grateful that the Trump administration is shining a light on the urgent needs of our seniors and the heroic work being done every day to protect and care for them. While the actions announced during the press briefing were focused on nursing homes, we feel there is much more that needs to be done for senior living communities, which include assisted living, independent living, memory care and continuing care communities. Like nursing homes, senior living communities have critical needs right now, including expanded testing, PPE and financial relief so that they can continue safeguarding the nearly 2 million seniors who reside in our communities and the nearly 1 million employees who work in them. We are urging the Administration not to overlook senior living communities, which are a critical part of the health care continuum and are acting right now as a critical backstop to hospitals. We will continue working with the Trump administration, including HHS, and state and local governments, to ensure that senior living communities continue to be prioritized for these vital resources.”

—James Balda, President & CEO, Argentum


Updated: April 17

“We continue to see news media conflate skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes) with the broader spectrum of senior living communities that support independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Senior living communities, which operate primarily on a private-pay model and receive little, if any, government funding such as Medicare or Medicaid, also have different operating realities and resident profiles than nursing homes. Both models, however, support a vulnerable population of seniors and require priority access to testing and PPE in order to continue to protect both residents and staff.

“While senior living communities have experienced tragic losses in the past weeks, the coronavirus risk profile for those living and working in these communities is far more optimistic. A study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on April 3 suggests that senior living communities may be in a better position to contain the spread of the disease because of their ability to have greater social distancing.

“The safety of senior living staff and residents is always our number one priority, and senior living communities are doing everything they can to protect their residents with the resources they have. This might include restricting visitor access, pausing communal dining, adding enhanced infection control measures, and taking the temperatures of employees, among other controls, while also closely following guidance from local and state health officials. Employees also receive initial and ongoing training to maintain their safety and the wellbeing of senior living residents. We will continue taking all necessary steps to keep our residents and staff safe and healthy.” READ MORE.

—James Balda, President & CEO, Argentum


Updated: March 22

“This is an incredibly challenging time for the senior living industry and most importantly, for the residents and the team members on the front lines every day. At Argentum, we continue to carefully monitor and share updates from official sources at the federal and state levels that are reporting on the spread of COVID-19. We are working closely with federal agencies and our own state partners as we work to emphasize the need for priority for those who live and work at senior living communities across the country. This includes priority for testing, treatment, supplies, and staffing solutions.

“We also continue to urge Congress to consider ALL senior living communities when drafting forthcoming stimulus legislation. As an industry, we are facing a financial strain that left unaided, will significantly impact the nation’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and undermine the ability to provide long-term care services and supports to the nation’s seniors for years to come. Specifically, we are asking for sufficient financial resources to ensure communities can continue to operate, as well as tax incentives to engage in activities related to COVID-19 prevention and mitigation.

“It remains critical to note that professionally managed senior living providers have significant plans in place for emergency situations, and they follow infection control procedures and protocol every day to mitigate the spread of illness. Communities are taking significant steps to minimize risk to their residents and staff, including restricting visitors and reminding staff and visitors to stay home if they are feeling ill. In coordination with our partners and stakeholders, including guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we have offered and continue to update a toolkit that providers and communities may refer to when seeking additional information or support.”

—James Balda, President & CEO, Argentum


March 3

“At Argentum, we are closely monitoring updates from official sources at the federal and state levels that are reporting on the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), as well as receiving regular updates from our own state partners and members, and communicating those updates as appropriate.

It is critical to note that professionally managed senior living providers have significant plans in place for emergency situations, and they follow infection control procedures and protocol every day to prevent the spread of illness. We know some companies and communities are already taking additional steps out of an abundance of caution to minimize risk to their residents and staff, including limiting visitors and reminding staff and visitors to stay home if they are feeling ill. In coordination with our partners and stakeholders, including guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we have offered and continue to update a toolkit that providers and communities may refer to when seeking additional information or support.

As we meet with policymakers on the coronavirus and other issues in the coming days and weeks, we will continue to emphasize the need for priority for older adults and those at senior living communities regarding access to supplies, medications, or vaccines, when and if those are available.”

—James Balda, President & CEO, Argentum

See Argentum Coronavirus Preparation and Response Toolkit

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